There is a certain danger inherent in this kind of Babe Ruth-esque shot calling when it comes to mid-year lists. I myself am already guilty of attempting to label something my pre-emptive ‘Album of the Year’ and then almost immediately finding something I like more that takes its place. Twice in this case. But on the other hand, in an effort to buck my natural instinct to focus on only the worst aspects of my existence, I would like to acknowledge the albums that have made the first half of this year worth being present for. It’ll be quick and dirty, and I make no claims that this will represent me six months down the line when AOTY Season rolls around, but if you’re interested in what I’ve been enjoying so far in 2020, read about it under the cut in this Nine Circles ov… edition.
If you are at all familiar with our Nine Circles Audio Thing podcast, you’re most likely acquainted with (and probably tired of) my constant refrain of, “I just don’t like prog, dude.” We’ve been covering a lot of progressive stuff on our recent Album of the Month episodes, between February’s Intronaut and our recent Katatonia episodes, so I’ve had a lot of reason to make my feelings on the subject known. But, if you look at any of my year end lists, you can see quite a number of albums on there that are, without question, prog metal albums of some degree or another. Most famously, last year’s Waste of Space Orchestra album won my heart despite being very prog heavy, and breaking my “I don’t like albums longer than an hour” code as well. So when it comes down to it…do I actually not like prog? And if I do like it, why do I spend so much time maligning it? These questions gave me a lot of thought, and with nothing better to do during a quarantine than pick apart my own psyche, I decided to at least be scientific about the process and write it all down. What’s to follow is something of a primer about what makes an album ‘Prog That I Like’ versus ‘Prog That I Don’t Like’ and is inspired by four albums, of this ilk, I’ve listened to lately. Continue reading →
I have lost all track of time. It moves both fast and slow, leaving me confused about both the day of the week and the month. It’s still cold out where I am, yet it’s mid-May? Another thing that has caused me to lose track of time is April’s ridiculously stacked set of releases, which I’ve turned into a playlist that slaps and grooves and causes time to simply disappear. It’s a real banger, so I hope you are ready.
Once again, Oranssi Pazuzu’s oneironauts have emerged from Wastement, their base of operations for psychedelic voyages into one’s inner self, and unleashed their latest opus Mestarin Kynsi to illuminate and mesmerize in these dark, uncertain times. Continue reading →
I’m out of words for much other than metal at this point. On that note, The Black Dahlia Murder lay down, quite possibly their best in a few years—so. damn. good., dark neofolk OLS mesmerize on their stunning effort, Oranssi Pazuzu put the capital P, B, and M in psychedelic black metal—no surprise to anyone I hope, and since every damn show every-damn-where is cancelled here comes Khemmis with a quick but great live EP that’ll bring back the good times. Tons more to follow so keep reading. Also, please support bands, labels, restaurants, and everything you can and in any way you can and if you can’t, don’t sweat it just hang in there. Continue reading →